Buckingham Palace – the most important information
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns. It also serves as the administrative headquarters. The palace is located in the City of Westminster, and it has been the place where the British people gather at times of national rejoicing and mourning. The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors every summer.
History of Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace was first Buckingham House that George III bought for his wife Queen Charlotte in 1761. It was their family home, close to St James’s Palace, where many court functions were held. The transformation of the house into a palace at the end of 1826. The first architect to work on the palace was John Nash, but he was fired because he exceeded the approved budget. King William IV chose Edward Blore to finish the Palace. The King, however, never moved into the Palace. The first sovereign to take up residence there was Queen Victoria. The final work on the Palace was done just before the outbreak of the First World War.
What to see in Buckingham Palace?
The Palace offers guided tours, as well as family guided tours and tours of the garden. Here are some of the highlights of Buckingham Palace:
- White Drawing Room – this room is probably the grandest of all the State Rooms. It serves as a royal reception room for The Queen and members of the Royal Family to gather before official occasions.
- Throne Room – this State Room has dramatic arch and canopy over the thrones that was made by the architect John Nash. The pair of throne chairs, Chairs of Estate, were used for the coronation ceremony of The Queen in 1953. In this room you can also see chairs made for the coronation of King George VI, and a throne chair made for Queen Victoria in 1837.
- Ballroom – this room is the largest of the State Rooms. It has a musicians’ gallery with an organ and it is used for official purposes. In the Ballroom you can see two thrones that were made for the coronation ceremony of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902.
- Music Room – this room was originally known as the Bow Drawing Room. Here is where guests are presented before a dinner or a banquet.
- Grand Staircase – the staircase was designed by John Nash. On the upper part of the staircase you can see portraits of immediate members of Queen Victoria’s family.
Tickets and opening hours of Buckingham Palace
- Tickets – for adults the price is £30, for young people from 18 to 24 years it’s £19.50, and for children aged from 5 to 17 and for disabled, the ticket is £16.50. You should book your ticket in advance as far ahead as possible since the Palace is only open to visitors for only four months every year.
- Opening hours – the Palace is open in July and August from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm, with the last admission at 5:15 pm. In September and October, the Palace is open from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm, with the last admission at 4:15 pm.
How to get to Buckingham Palace?
You can get to the Palace by:
- Train – London Victoria or London Charing Cross stations.
- Underground – the closest stations are Victoria (Victoria line), Green Park (Victoria and Piccadilly line), St. James’s Park and Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly line).
- Coach/bus – bus numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 stop on Buckingham Palace Road.
What should you know before visiting Buckingham Palace?
Here are some tips and rules when visiting the Palace:
- Arrive at the palace between 15 and 30 minutes early because of the security that you have to get through.
- You should wear comfortable shoes because all events involve some walking.
- It is forbidden to take photographs within the State Rooms. Eating and drinking is also forbidden, except the bottled water. Lastly, only guide, hearing or assistance animals are admitted to the palace.
Buckingham Palace trivia
- Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms – 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.
- The building is 108 meters long, 120 meters deep and 24 meters high.
- More than 50,000 guests visit the Palace each year for State banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and Garden Parties.
- The balcony of Buckingham Palace is one of the most famous in the world since the royals make appearances there.